Current Postings


The postings below are all still active, and organized by deadline. Once the deadline has passed, they will be moved to the IABA Posting Archive, on the CBR Webpage

A question from a list member


I would like know if IABA members are aware of memoirs/biographies written in more than one voice. Two examples are Doris Brett’s Eating the Underworld: A Memoir in Three Voices, and Brian Matthews Louisa, a biography of Louisa Lawson.
I would be extremely grateful for this; please send personal responses to
Kind regards

(Dr) Rae Luckie


NEW SERIES TITLE: Palgrave Studies in Mediating Kinship, Representation, and Difference

SERIES EDITOR/S: May Friedman, Ryerson University (Canada); Silvia Schultermandl, University of Graz (Austria)

This book series brings together analyses of familial and kin relationships with emerging and new technologies which allow for the creation, maintenance and expansion of family. We use the term “family” as a working truth with a wide range of meanings in an attempt to address the feelings of family belonging across all aspects of social location: ability, age, race, ethnicity, nationality, sexuality, gender identity, body size, social class and beyond. This book series aims to explore phenomena located at the intersection of technologies including those which allow for family creation, migration, communication, reunion and the family as a site of difference. The individual volumes in this series will offer insightful analyses of the representations of these phenomena in media, social media, literature, popular culture and corporeal settings.

Possible book topics include:

• the use of technology and migration and family composition and disjunction; the ways that technologies may both push and pull kin together/apart

• the range of technology use across literal and figurative space including intersections of geography, age, poverty, gender and beyond

• the impact of technological absence: the ways that technologies may be taken for granted in particular environments (privileged nations; privileged subject positions) and may be denied or inaccessible in other spaces or places

• technologies of family creation and maintenance: the use of alternate reproductive technologies; the use of communication technologies to share information;

• queer family creation and representation through technology; making queer family visible through traditional, popular and social media; alternate family connections including nonnormative parenting arrangements (more than two parents, multiple different shades of parenting); “new” family through donor sibling relationships;

• technologies of class mobility, including the impact of smartphone technology on mediating/curtailing aspects of the digital divide; shifting family relationships through generational moves in class status;

• fat family: the ways that narratives of obesity have had impacts on the creation and representation of family (for example: obese women who are denied reproductive technologies or access to international adoption); the ways these rhetorics have shifted differently in different jurisdictions; representation of fat family; intersection of fat and working class identities in popular culture;

• trans families: both in terms of gender identity but also in terms of other families that “confound”—families that do not “match” one another, or that otherwise transgress normative models;

• technologies of disability: the use of technology to enhance or bolster independence, the ways that disabled people are seen as incapable of parenting; on the other hand, the technologies which come into play around parenting children with disability, both prenatally and once children are born; representation of disability and family (fetishization and the perceived martyrdom of parents)

Please send inquiries to AND



Deadline for Submissions May 29. 2020

CFVP Virtual Video Symposium – Poetic Justice: Narrating Personhood, Solidarity, and Citizenship (5/29/2020) Utrecht, Netherlands

deadline for submissions:
May 29, 2020
full name / name of organization:
Anne Kustritz / Utrecht University
contact email:

Poetic Justice: Narrating Personhood, Solidarity, and Citizenship


This one-day digital symposium brings together international colleagues for an interdisciplinary conversation on the use of narratives to make claims about (or foreclose the possibility of) social justice in both formal and informal political situations, for example in art, memoir, social media, protest movements, and legal documents.  As such, the event unpacks the vital role of storytelling within contemporary political struggles, including, for example, in films about restorative justice, in newspaper representations of the Dutch farmers’ strike, and ethnography regarding labor organization in the digital media industry.  Only by better understanding how stories shape who is included and excluded from social institutions may we thoughtfully narrate a more open and inclusive society, since policy and politics begin with an act of imagination.  Please feel free to interpret the theme liberally.


Talks can be between 5 and 30 minutes and must be submitted in digital video form.  The format is flexible and may consist of a recorded live reading, slides with an audio track, audio only, or something more creative or conceptual like montage or remix.  The symposium takes place on the 19th, meaning participants are encouraged to comment on each other’s presentations that day, and the event will end with a closing zoom call.  In these complicated times, we hope to offer a sense of connection between colleagues and an opportunity to remotely support each other’s research.  To present RSVP with your intent to Anne Kustritz at by 29 May.  The deadline to submit a video is the 16th of June.  To participate as a viewer and commenter RSVP by 18 June (


Deadline for Submissions May 30, 2020

Designing the Self

deadline for submissions: 
May 30, 2020
full name / name of organization: 
Humanities Graduate Student Association, York University
contact email:

Humans navigate personal and social relationships in the world through self-definition. Human nature is a capacious concept; one that has been challenged by diverse cultural revolutions in history. Today, as we stand at the crossroads of the human and the digital, technologies force us to reflect on how we view, create, and alter our selves through multiple media. As we enter the age of new media, and algorithms, the interpretations, perceptions, and representations of the self are continuously altered, while our identities become more fragile multiple and fluid.

Identities may be founded on varied cultural, biological, and physiological markers, but are also a source and product of social engagement, shared ideas, ideologies, and biases. Identities are both personal and social and are in the eternal process of construction. Our gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, class, disability, religion, nation, and age consistently intersect and interrupt our process of identity construction in media including print, broadcast, and social media.

How does the forging of multi-layered, complex identities materialize in traditional and new media? How does the cultural production of the self occur in literature, television, music, blogs, or digital technologies? How does the self break out of its essential boundaries through various practices of writing, and how does it come to be represented? How does it traverse the binaries of gender construction using technology? How does it penetrate barriers towards an intersectional identity building? How are bodies constructed differently in different media? How do masculinity and femininity as concepts of gender identity manifest on platforms? How does individual and collective identity building occur, and how does identity construction enable the use of various media for community development and social activism for communities?

Humanities as a discipline is always deeply reflective of the changing world order and is consistently tasked with redefining the notions of the self. We are keen to address this humanities framework in relation to identity politics, representation, and embodiment of the self on various media. To interrogate and investigate the complex relationships between narratives of self-production, and identity formation in media, The Department of Humanities invites abstract submissions for its annual conference on the theme Designing the Self. We invite proposals for papers from a variety of fields and perspectives that engage with issues including, but not limited to:

  • How does cultural production of the self occur in various forms of media?
  • How does (dis)embodiment occur on social media?
  • How do representations of gender, masculinity, or femininity occur in media?
  • How is intersectional identity constructed, and how does gender intersect with class, race, disability, religion, nation, and age as other factors if identity building?
  • How can we rethink diversity, intersectionality, and identity politics in the age of technology?
  • How does identity construction vary in different cultures and historical traditions?

Our two-day conference will address these and related topics. It will be held virtually due to the COVID-19 situation. We welcome proposals for 15-minute paper presentations. Those interested are invited to submit an abstract of 250 words to by 30 May 2020. Submissions must include the title of the paper, the author’s name, affiliation, and contact information. Applications must be accompanied by a short biography of 150 words.

For questions and inquiries, contact Nanditha Narayanamoorthy at


Deadline for Submissions May 30, 2020

CFP for Oct 2021 symposium on Constructing Presidential Legacies: Critical Perspectives on American Presidential Libraries and Museums (5/30/2020; 10/8-9/2020)

We invite a wide range of scholars interested in any aspects of US Presidential Libraries and Museum’s to submit ~500-word abstracts by May 30, 2020, for a symposium to be held October 8-9, 2021, followed by an edited publication in early 2022. Presidential Libraries and Museums’ function as “memorials to individuals” and “memorials of their times” and over time have given rise to many questions across a variety of fields. Beyond the buildings, the exhibitions and narratives also contribute to the shaping, presentation and reinterpretation of presidential legacies.  Any critique of the thirteen existing libraries from Hoover to George W. Bush and future libraries (Obama and Trump) are welcomed. We also encourage potential participants to contact us prior to submitting to discuss possible subjects in order to achieve a wide range of paper topics and approaches.

Marie-Alice L’Heureux, Professor, Arc/D, University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS

Kapila Silva, Associate Professor, Arc/D, University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS

December 2019: Call for abstracts
May 30, 2020: Abstracts due
June 30, 2020: Notifications of acceptance
January 25, 2021: First drafts of papers due and revisions circulated
May 31, 2021: Presentation drafts due
October 8-9, 2021: Conference and discussion.
January 31, 2022: Final revised papers due for publication.

Contact Info:

Marie-Alice L’Heureux

Contact Email:


Deadline for Submissions May 31, 2020

Written on the Body: Narrative (Re)constructions of Violence(s) (5/31/2020; 7/26-8/2/2020–

Call for Traces

July 26–August 2, 2020

Location: World Wide Web/Local initiatives

The Nordic Summer University 2020 will take place in an adjusted format because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Invitation and Theme:
‘Written on the Body: Narrative (Re)constructions of Violence(s)’ was meant to be a week-long symposium organised by the study circle ‘Narrative and Violence’. Following the discussions on how to make sense of violence in the digital age, which took place last February at the University of Gdańsk, this was to be the second symposium of our Study Circle’s. However, due to the pandemic of Covid-19, the Nordic Summer University Summer Session 2020 will not be able to take place as a physical gathering, but will instead take place in distant and dispersed formats of encounter, sharing and connection. The participants are invited to create a trace (please see below for a more detailed description). Taking the advantage of the current environment, rather than collapsing under its restrictions, NSU is thus opening a space for traditional and unconventional collaborations, experiments, unusual meet-ups, creative interventions and other innovative approaches. In all this, documentation, accessibility and shareability aspects are crucial.

We therefore invite scholars, students, practitioners and activists from all disciplines to submit proposals for traces that will address how bodies becomes subjects and objects of violence and how, by simply ‘being’, they narrate their traumatic experience. But how do bodies narrate violence(s)? Our understanding of a body is purposefully broad and includes the human and nonhuman, the organic and inorganic, and their diverse material or corporeal forms. We are therefore engaging with bodies that are human, animal, vegetal, natural and technological; that are both singular and collective (i.e. the social body); that are situated in both the physical and virtual space; and that express naturecultural entanglements (Haraway 2003). To consider the materiality of violence implies attending to its trans-corporeal intersections and therefore addressing its inseparability from the ‘environment’—a network of relations (human and nonhuman), phenomena and space (e.g. the home, the neighbourhood, the city) that foster, produce, perform, and ultimately bear witness to violence. Hence, inspired by Catriona Sandilands (2019), we envisage the entangled forms of violence done to human and nonhuman bodies as metonymic and intersectional. Our ambition is to engage with the imaginative (re)constructions of (human/nonhuman/social/natural/technological) bodies that perform or experience violence; with how they reproduce the intertwining of gender, power, agency and heteropatriarchal capitalism; and with their contribution to ethics, aesthetics, and politics. Finally, in addressing how bodies narrate violence we wish to reflect on the implications and effects of such (embodied) practices—whether positive or negative—and on the possible strategies to counter-act or counter-story them.

We invite contributions exploring various practices of storying violence on bodies, and attending to ‘the wounds of the world’. Suggested themes relate to narratives addressing human and nonhuman bodies, within non-digital and digital realities, fictional or factual, and their multiple intersections. They include but are not limited to:

  • Self-inflicted violence (e.g. self-harm, eating disorders, suicide, etc.)
  • Other-directed violence (abuse, harassment, murder, genocide, etc.)
  • Technological representations/forms of bodily violence (e.g. social media, videogames, drones, etc.)
  • Aesthetic representations of bodily violence (e.g. art, literature, film, etc.)
  • (Neo)colonial labour and slavery
  • Appropriation of indigenous knowledge
  • Environmental violence and its effects on communities (e.g. natural catastrophes and their aftermaths, exploitation of indigenous/ancestral lands, etc.)
  • Entanglements of misogynist and anti-ecological violence
  • Micro- and macro-political violences
  • Governmental policing and rationalization of (public) spaces
  • Reconstructions of war-crimes (e.g. forensic architecture)
  • The effects of field-work violence: researchers, practitioners, activists, NGOs workers


The framework of the Study Circle is intersectional and open to multiple approaches and methodologies in humanities, social sciences and from the practicing field. The overarching intention of our three-year Study Circle is to contribute in particular to the fields of digital and environmental violence.

What is a trace?

A trace is defined as the outcome of our Study Circle’s activities in the Summer Session 2020. A trace is documented and can be archived or presented as a form of evidence. A trace can have a variety of formats: it can be an article written or co-written by you or a discussion held among our Circle’s members; it can be a virtual meet-up or a localised interdisciplinary micro meet-up between members of different circles in a form that is permitted; an online podcast or interviews. The format is not restricted in any way. As the Cricle’s coordinators we will evaluate the potential outcome, creative and academic contribution, quality and shareability of the proposed traces.

The Board of NSU has defined the following guidelines for the shortlisting of the proposed Traces:

  • produced by a single individual or group of participants;
  • sharable and open to all during the Summer Session time frame;
  • fitting to NSU’s overall goals, aims and vision;
  • related to the Circle’s theme;
  • created in its main language English or a Scandinavian or Baltic language;
  • those who make a trace must be members of NSU (pay membership fee) & participate in the democratic forum of NSU (may become a delegate for the General Assembly meeting);
  • the team or the individual creating a trace needs to provide some promotion material considered as an INVITATION to the trace, before the Summer Session with an image & description of 200-500 words;
  • those who make a trace need to provide a brief report of the trace to their coordinator (form to be provided by NSU, including number of participants, goals, etc.) after the trace has been produced.

As always, NSU is particularly interested in supporting people who are at the outskirts of the Nordic region – the Baltic and West-Nordic communities as well as those with special needs. So please inform us if your application for a Trace grant falls under the regional support or if the pandemic has had particular financial consequences to you.

Please send proposals for traces (200-500 words and an image, if appropriate) with a title and a short biographical statement (100 words) to by 31st May 2020. This is also the deadline for the application for grants of up to 7000.00 DKK per trace. Authors of accepted traces will be contacted after 15th June 2020.

More information about NSU can be found by following this link:

Contact Info:

Marta-Laura Cenedese

Contact Email:



Deadline for Submissions May 31, 2020

Travel Writing/Writing Travel Session  (5/31/2020; 11/3-5/2020) Midwest Modern Language Association Convention, Milwaukee USA

Travel is a vehicle for which to explore the condition of living, how our relationships to place shape us and our experiences, how our identities and political histories inform place, how power structures inform how we migrate (or don’t) and how that affects the places we pass through. –Bani Amor, “Getting Real About Decolonizing Travel Culture” (2017)

In this spirit of this year’s theme, “Cultures of Collectivity,” the Travel Writing/Writing Travel permanent session invites essays that interrogate the relationship between culture, community, and narratives of travel. This session seeks to explore the multiple ways in which travel, broadly conceived, has a profound impact on place, society, and the formation of global networks of exchange and communication. Critical and creative submissions will be considered. Papers that explore a broad spectrum of genres, disciplines, time periods, and geographic regions in relation to the conference theme are welcome.

Potential topics and themes may include (but are not limited to):

  • Travel and travel writing as a collaborative act
  • The politics of travel and travel writing
  • Travel and literary genre
  • The impact of tourism on local communities
  • Travel and the promotion of solidarity between communities
  • Contact zones and the relationship between travelers and travelees
  • Histories of travel/Decolonizing travel
  • Transnational and global forms of cultural exchange
  • Travelling locally
  • Constitutions of “self” and “other” in travel writing
  • Travel and constructions of race, class, and/or gender

Please send abstracts of approximately 200-300 words and a brief bio to Shannon Derby at by May 31st.

Deadline for Submissions June 1, 2020
Call for Book Chapters: The Other #MeToos

Chapter proposal submission deadline: 01 June 2020

Since the inception of #MeToo, conversations have largely centered on the movement’s development in the United States. This edited collection focuses on the reception, translation, and adaptation of #MeToo in non-Western, indigenous, and/or postcolonial contexts; it aims to explore how #MeToo, a popularly Western-centric feminist movement, translates to politically, culturally, religiously, geographically, and academically Othered places and Othered genders and sexes.

This edited collection aims to explore the following ideas: (i) #MeToo has become a transnational feminist movement (ii) #MeToo works effectively through revisions rather than replication (iii) #MeToo assumes a different face in non-Western, non-White, postcolonial, transnational, and indigenous feminisms (iv) These other #MeToos require different theoretical approaches that need to be closely connected with feminist praxis and (v) #MeToo works in alliance with local progressive political forces.

We look for chapter contributions that, via eclectic, intersectional, and interdisciplinary approaches, bring together personal and academic experiences of and responses to #MeToo in diverse sociopolitical cultures and academic locations. Please submit a 250 word chapter proposal, 50-150 word long bio, and a CV at by 01 June 2020.

Editor: Iqra Shagufta Cheema | University of North Texas

Contact information:

Submission: Chapter title + chapter abstract (250 words) + bio (100 words) + CV

Submission Deadline: 01 June 2020

Acceptance Notification: 10 June 2020

Complete Chapters Due: 01 October 2020

Should you have any questions, please feel free to email me at the address given above.

Deadline for Submissions June 1, 2020

SAMLA 92: THE GENRES OF CELEBRITY SCANDAL (6/1/2020; 11/13-15/2020) Florida, USA, SAMLA

Given the evident command of the celebrity in 20th- and 21st-century media cultures and following modern trends toward trans-medial and inter-generic production, this traditional session calls for papers that explore the relationships between celebrity and generic scandals. How have filmmakers, television writers, tabloid/entertainment journalists, novelists, essayists, biographers, memoirists, and other cultural creators depicted celebrity scandal while pushing the limits of their given genre or medium? While the 20th and 21st centuries are the focus of this call, media and literary scholars of all periods are welcomed to apply. History-bending is happily encouraged alongside genre-bending. Scandals could involve:

  • Addiction/alcoholism
  • Mental illness and “nervous breakdowns”
  • Sexual controversy: sex tapes, infidelity, coming out, consent, rape, assault, doxing, incest, public sex, etc.
  • Censorship and privacy
  • Body image (fatness, thinness)
  • Crime (shoplifting, violence, DUIs)
  • Health spectacles: disease, cancer, HIV/AIDS, etc.
  • Slander
  • Cults

Potential topics/methods could include:

  • Documentary films or TV series that record a star’s scandal, or fictions that recreate such scandals
  • The biography of celebrity scandals, or autobiographies or memoirs written by scandalous celebrities
  • The relationships between identity and celebrity and/or identity and genre: age, religion, class, language, ability, race, sex, gender, nationality, geography, and intersectional approaches
  • The influence of contemporary “factual entertainment” (e.g. reality TV, talk shows) on genres of celebrity (A-list, D-list, elitist, populist, etc.)
  • Paparazzi and tabloid cultures
  • Historical approaches to “celebrity genres”
  • Celebrity scandal explored through genres of confession, witness, testimony, evidence, etc.
  • Political celebrity and election media
  • Celebrity affects, generic affects

Please send a 300-word abstract, brief bio, and A/V requirements to Blake Beaver at by June 1, 2020.

CFP Link:


Deadline for Submissions June 1, 2020

The Transformative Experience of the Journey via Recollection and Reflection (6/1/2020; 11/12-15/2020) Las Vegas, USA–PAMLA

contact email:

The travel memoir offers an opportunity to examine a number of issues in terms of creative non-fiction. Travel stories focus on individuals who become strangers to themselves when they exile themselves from the environmental and cultural factors that have defined them thus far in service of self-discovery. They link up with the grand Odysseus-like impulse of traditional and modern literature that can profoundly alter identity when they travel and write about their experiences. Topics to consider would include a discussion of three particular aspects of this kind of storytelling. First, we must discuss the idea of fiction vs. fact and try to decide how much of each is essential in terms of crafting biographical material. Sometimes fiction can reveal truths more clearly than facts and so it could be said that truth lies in the interplay between these two critical aspects of storytelling. Further the idea of the diary as self-revealing and as an essential part of the transformative process journeying is meant to promote is a critical discussion as well. Experience is not fully integrated by writers and certainly not experienced by readers until it is written down and shared. This then leads to an analysis of the powerful draw travelogues’ mythological aspects have to audiences that, by in large, never travel but are rabidly addicted to this kind of story because these travel tales are vehicles for self-evaluation via contact with what we can call “others” (other cultures, other uncomfortable places, and travelers vs. nontravelers).


Deadline for Submissions June 5, 2020

Speculating Identities and Defying Stereotypes: South Asian Women Writers and Idealistic Mobilities (6/5/2020) Special Issue, Journal of Comparative Literature and Aesthetics

deadline for submissions:
June 5, 2020
full name / name of organization:
Journal of Comparative Literature and Aesthetics (JCLA)
contact email:

The issue intends to bring to the fore the writings of women from colonial and postcolonial era of South Asia, particularly exploring how these women writers addresses the issues of violence, speculating identity and belongingness while defying stereotypes in primarily male literary traditions as a focal point. Moreover, the proposed issue considers how different literary genres ranging from novels, poetry, novellas, short stories, memoirs to autobiographies by South Asian women writers present an exclusive and inimitable insight into varied understandings of pre-constructed gender roles and relations in the context of south Asian society and culture. Their works bear testimony to their personal as well as socio-political experiences struggling with the boundaries of centre and periphery, negotiating their identities and ideologies across different spatial and temporal domains.
This special issue, therefore, attempts to look into the literary tradition of South Asian Women writers and how it has developed into an alternative literary canon significantly upholding the (Her)stories, previously unacknowledged by the male writers. The issue is focused on identifying the narrative politics of the literary texts composed by the South Asian women writers, and how over the years their works have collectively shown a steady development of an emerging category of female writers struggling with the issues of identity, class, caste, gender, economic disparity and so on within an oppressive heteronormative social frame.
The issue intends to focus on the following sub-themes, but authors are also encouraged to explore other wide-ranging relevant and related critical writings.

The sub themes are:
1. Constructing nation through gender
2. South Asian Women’s narratives across continents
3. Interplay of tradition and modernity in South Asian Women’s narratives
4. Understanding class and caste in South Asian Women’s writing
5. Gender plurality in South Asian Women’s texts

Guest Editors: Raeesa Usmani and Ritushree Sengupta

Submission Guidelines:
1. Original scholarly and unpublished research papers of 5000-6000 words are invited.
2. A short author(s) bio-note (100 words) mentioning address of institution, email id, phone number and email address must be submitted along.
3. An abstract of 250-300 words will have to be submitted on or before 5th June, 2020 to email id:
4. Once the author is notified about the selection of the abstracts, the full paper must be submitted by 1st October, 2020 to Authors are requested to strictly abide by the deadlines and submission guidelines.
5. Authors must follow referencing style MLA 8th edition. Font: Times New Roman, Font Size: 12, Line Spacing: 1.5, Margin: 1 inch all sides, Page: A4
6. All papers will go through rigorous editing process and plagiarism scanning through Turnitin. Only 10% similarity will be accepted.
7. Should you have any query or confusion, please feel free to reach out to us on



The Journal of Comparative Literature and Aesthetics (ISSN: 0252-8169) is a half-yearly journal published by the Vishvanatha Kaviraja Institute of Comparative Literature and Aesthetics, India since 1977. The Institute was founded on August 22, 1977 coinciding with the birth centenary of legendary philosopher, aesthetician, and historian of Indian art, Ananda K. Coomaraswamy (1877-1947).

The Journal is committed to interdisciplinary and cross-cultural issues in literary understanding and interpretation, aesthetic theories, conceptual analysis of art, literature, philosophy, religion, mythology, history of ideas, literary theory, history, and criticism.

The Journal has already published legends like Rene Wellek, Harold Osborne, John Hospers, John Fisher, Murray Krieger, Martin Bocco, Remo Ceserani, J.B. Vickery, Menachem Brinker, Milton Snoeyenbos, Mary Wiseman, Ronald Roblin, T.R. Martland, S.C. Sengupta, K.R.S. Iyengar, V.K. Chari, Charles Altieri, Martin Jay, Jonathan Culler, Richard Shusterman, Robert Kraut, T.J. Diffey, T.R. Quigley, R.B. Palmer, Keith Keating, and many renowned scholars.

JCLA is indexed and abstracted in the MLA International Bibliography, Master List of Periodicals (USA), Ulrich’s Directory of Periodicals, Philosopher’s Index, EBSCO, ProQuest, and Gale.

Celebrated scholars of the time like Rene Wellek, Harold Osborne, Mircea Eliade, Monroe Beardsley, John Hospers, John Fisher, Meyer Abrams, John Boulton, and many renowned foreign and Indian scholars were Members of its Editorial Board.



Special Issue of Life Writing (Autumn 2021)
Deadline for proposals 20 June 2020

One of the main features of autofictional literature is its so-called ability to “sit on the fence” (Lejeune) and be simultaneously fictional and referential. Throughout the theoretical discussions on autofiction this has overshadowed some of its other features. This special issue explores one of them, namely the as-of-yet rarely addressed humorous dimension of autofictional writing, including the aesthetic, narrative and social function(s) of humour in autofictional literature. In 1996, Marie Darrieussecq, a French scholar who almost overnight became a literary celebrity with the publication of Pig Tales (Truismes), published an article entitled “Autofiction, a non-serious Genre” (“L’Autofiction, un genre pas sérieux”) in which she ironically lauded autobiography only to better support autofiction’s creativity and its noncommittal attitude toward reality. Even if Darrieussecq meant “non-serious” to denote a less respected, frowned-upon subcategory of autobiographical discourse, now almost 50 years after Doubrovsky first coined the term, it’s worth considering if indeed autofiction is a non-serious mode of writing, although along a different understanding of the non-serious than Darrieusecq’s.

Freud defined humour as a defence mechanism, a way of keeping reality at bay while still focusing on it. This could also describe the way autofiction relates to autobiographical practices and their attempt to describe somebody’s reality. Judging for example by the grandiloquent buffoonery of Bret Easton Ellis’s Lunar Park, the wry self-deprecating tone of Ben Lerner’s 10:04, and by how J.M. Coetzee pokes fun at his alter-ego in Scenes from Provincial Life, at times verging on self-parody, it seems high time to consider autofiction’s humorous dimension.

One of the comic features of autofiction lies in its capacity to mock the seriousness of the genre it seemingly belongs to and, taking Darrieussecq’s rhetorical twist as a perfect example, seems to sneer at autobiography’s desperate dependence on facts and memory knowing that both have been shown to be fluctuating and labile (see for instance Mark Rowlands’s Memory and the Self: Phenomenology, Science and Autobiography, 2017). Even if a writer such as Mary Karr scathingly pointed out in The Art of Memoir (2015) that this aspect has often been regarded as carte blanche by some memoirists to publish blatant lies, she also rightfully reminded us that this inherent fallibility of our memory doesn’t call into question the validity of autobiography as long as it’s aware of this flaw. Another comic feature stems from an amused, sometimes ironic outlook on life and on those who try to put it on paper. In other words, autofiction often generates “ironic signals with regard to the reality of reported facts” (“signaux ironiques quant à la réalité des faits rapportés,” Colonna). Of course, this doesn’t imply that autofictional literature foregoes all claims to narrate any form of reality, but it frequently does so through tongue-in-cheek humour. As noted by Yves Baudelle, even in more serious autofictions such as Chloé Delaume’s or Camille Laurens’s, often conjuring up ghosts and the general theme of Thanatos, this “phantasmagoria is only tolerated in a humorous mode, which bestows upon it both its specificity and its function” (“cette fantasmagorie n’est tolérée que sur le mode humoristique, ce qui lui confère à la fois sa spécificité et sa fonction”). Thus, autofiction’s very referential logic could be described as “apotropaic.” In Ariadne’s Thread, J. Hillis Miller, focusing on realistic fiction’s essential flaw, wonders why “this dissolution of its own fundamental fiction [is] as constant a feature of realistic fiction as the creation of the fiction of character in the first place,” suggesting that “the function is apotropaic. It is a throwing away of what is already thrown away in order to save it.” Is autofiction trying to save autobiography and simultaneously make a joke out of it? This might be the very core of its ironical nature.

We encourage cross-disciplinary and comparative approaches and papers discussing primary texts in any language. Proposed articles may consider the humorous dimension(s) of autofictional literature through themes like, but not limited to, those listed above.

Practicalities and schedule:

Deadline for proposals (300 words): 20 June 2020

Authors will be notified if their proposal can be accepted for peer review by the end of July.

Deadline for sending in first drafts of papers: 1 November 2020

Peer-review process and corrections: January-March 2021

Final publication: Autumn 2021

All submissions need to be sent with a brief bio, which includes title, institutional affiliation and e-mail address.
Below is the link to the journal’s instructions for authors:

Please submit to: Alexandra Effe (, Marie Lindskov Hansen (, Arnaud Schmitt (


Deadline for Submissions, June 30, 2020

Comparative American Studies: An International Journal Special Issue: Elizabeth Wurtzel (6/30/2020)

contact email:

Elizabeth Wurtzel (1967-2020) is most famous for her controversial bestselling autobiographies, Prozac Nation (1994) and More, Now, Again (2001). These works are often cited as seminal in the ‘memoir boom’ of the late 1990s and early 2000s and established Wurtzel as a cult classic and an icon of her generation. Her writing spans across almost 40 years and includes journalism, personal essays (most notably Bitch: In Praise of Difficult Women (1998)), and other non-fiction. In the aftermath of Wurtzel’s passing in January 2020, a reappraisal of her literary career seems both timely and a mark of tribute. We welcome articles exploring the following aspects:

– Reassessments of the impact of Wurtzel’s writing in the context of American literature and culture in the late 1990s-early 2000s

– Analyses of Wurtzel’s influence on contemporary confessional/autobiographical writing, especially by women

– Analyses of gender, sexuality, mental health and illness in Wurtzel’s work

– Situating Wurtzel as a Jewish woman writer, or a Generation X writer

– Wurtzel’s non-fiction, such as her music and online journalism

– Wurtzel’s literary influences

– Analyses of the systemic critiques of late 20th/ early 21st century America in Wurtzel’s writing

– Wurtzel and the cult of the individual

Articles which take a comparative focus (comparing Wurtzel to other writers and cultures, for example) are especially encouraged.




Deadline for Submissions June 15, 2020

Call for Articles: Travel Narratives and Real-Life Fiction, The Lincoln Humanities Journal (6/15/2020)

The Lincoln Humanities Journal (ISSN 2474-7726) is requesting article submissions for its 8th special issue, to be published in December 2020, on the topic of Travel Narratives and Real-Life Fiction. Contributors are invited to examine specifically (a) the evolving forms of life-writings (biographies, autobiographies, memoirs, diaries, blogs, etc.) as they pertain to travel; (b) the intersection of fictional and factual travel narratives, and (c) the emotional, economic, socio-political, environmental, physiological, and literary aspects of travel (in reality and in fiction; by land, sea and air; on earth and in outer space). We welcome approaches across a broad range of disciplines such as literature, history, political science, anthropology, religion, popular culture, philosophy, visual arts, and social media. Topics may include but are not limited to:

  • The concept of travel: historical and philosophical perspectives
  • Travel writing, Life-writing as genre
  • Biofiction, biography, autobiography
  • Travel journalism
  • Travel in film, theater, literature, and television
  • The Internet of places: Pictures and videos of other places, cultures, etc.
  • Modern tourism
  • Adventure  and exploration
  • Travel for business, pleasure, family reunion, aid work
  • Travel for education (study abroad, etc.)
  • Pilgrimage & religious travel
  • Modes of transportation
  • Environmental  impact of travel
  • Travel to the moon and beyond; The sci-fi connection and influence
  • Tourism in international relations (migration, spying, etc.)
  • Temporary living and/or working abroad (mission, etc.)

Important Dates & Deadlines

  • Deadline for Full Article Submissions:    June 15, 2020
  • Acceptance Notification:                       60 days after submission
  • Projected Date of Publication:               December 2020

Submission Guidelines

  1. Include an abstract of 200-400 words (in MS Word)
  2. Include a biographical note of 50-250 words (in MS Word)
  3. The article should be 4000-6000 words, including the abstract, the footnotes and the works cited
  4. Include the following statement in the cover e-mail: “I solemnly confirm that the attached manuscript has never been published elsewhere, under this, or another title.”
  5. Include name, professional affiliation, phone number, and email address in the cover e-mail.

Formatting Guidelines

  1. Manuscripts should conform to MLA-style guidelines as detailed in recent editions of MLA Style Manual and Guide to Scholarly Publishing. For an MLA Style Works Cited format overview, please check the following web resource:…
  2. Use font Georgia # 12. The entire article, including the abstract and the indented quotations, should be double-spaced, and in MS Word.
  3. The final submission must comply with other formatting guidelines, to be communicated upon notification of acceptance.

Submission & Review Process

  1. Manuscripts should be sent to the editor, Abbes Maazaoui (
  2. Articles undergo a double blind review and their publication depends on the peer-review process.


Self/Culture/Writing: Autoethnography in the 21st Century –
Special Issue of Life Writing

Deadline: July 1st, 2020
contact: Lisa Ortiz-Vilarelle, The College of New Jersey –

This special edition seeks to offer 21st century perspectives on the intersections of autobiographical and anthropological writing around the globe at this historical moment. It aims to examine autoethnography as both process and product of evocative, interpretive, analytic, interactive, performative, experiential, and embodied forms of writing self/culture.
Proposals are invited for critical essays and autoethnographic prose of between 7-8,000 words of original, previously unpublished work related (but not limited) to the following topics:

·       Creative nonfiction and fictionalized insider ethnography
·       Poetics of Autoethnography
·       Autoethnographic memoir
·       Connections between travel literature and autoethnography
.       Writing immigrant transnational, and diasporic lives
·       Embodied autoethnography
·       Duo-ethnographic and collaborative ethnographies of self
·       Indigenous representations of self/other and self as other
·       Digital humanities and autoethnographic modalities
·       Visual media and autoethnography
·       Autoethnography of queer and trans cultures
·       Oral storytelling traditions
·       Intersections of autobiographical and ethnographic memory
·       Ethics and Politics of autoethnographic method
·       Literary, performance, and journalistic ethnographies of self
·       Autoethnographic narrative in historical perspective
·       Autoethnographies of academia
·       Autoethnography as social-justice genre for vulnerable lives
·       Writing gendered self/culture
·       Racial identity and autoethnography
·       Autoethnography as a de/colonizing method

Special interest in meta-narrative approaches that push boundaries and rethink paradigms.

Procedure for Submission – Proposals of up to 500 words should be sent to by 1 July, 2020. Please include a brief biographical note of 50 words or less, institutional affiliation and 4-5 keywords. Full-length papers will be solicited from these proposals by 15 July, 2020 with final essays due 1 November, 2020. Final revisions due, 1 March, 2021.

Dr. Lisa Ortiz-Vilarelle


Department of English

The College of New Jersey
(609) 771-3231

Fax (609) 637-5112

PO Box 7718

Ewing, NJ 08628-0718


Deadline for Submissions July 31, 2020

Call for Participation – Fourth version of “YoVeo” (“I see”), The Festival Of Word And Image In First Person (7/31/2020; 8/28/2020) Colombia

Dear colleagues,

I hope this message finds both you and your loved ones in good health.

I bring good news to you: this year, with the support of the Edumedia-3 Research Group and Seedbed, we will celebrate the fourth version of  “YoVeo (“I see”), The Festival Of Word And Image In First Person.”

This is an event in which we pay tribute to the different ways of representing and relating the Self, as an exercise and practice of freedom of expression with the purpose of generating a space for reflective exchange in relation to subjectivity, singularity and individualism.

The festival began in 2010 in Pereira (Colombia), a city in which we have gotten to fill four exhibition rooms of the Colombian-American Center, the Colombian-French Alliance, the University Foundation of the Andean Area and Comfamiliar Risaralda (the local family compensation office) with the support of Pereira’s Institute of Culture and Promotion of Tourism (today Secretary-of-Culture’s Office).

In this ten-year-long trajectory and in the three previous versions, artists, cartoonists, videographers, journalists, researchers, students, teachers and citizens in general from El Salvador, Guatemala City, Buenos Aires and Rio de Janeiro have taken part.

This year we have already opened the reception of works and with them we will make the exhibition, online this time, from August 28. We would like to have your participation in one or several activities that we describe below.

The way to do this may be either one of the ones listed below or in anuy other way that you consider pertinent. So, if you feel encouraged to join us, do let us know about your intention by responding to this email.


– In a virtual chat on Facebook Live before August 28 on our page @LaFiestaYoVeo with a duration of between 30 and 60 minutes.
– With a video of a conference that you have already produced or that you would like to produce related to the ways of representing and relating the Self, to be published before August 28.

– With a short article (500 words approx.) about the Self to be published on the website

– As a jury in charge of selecting among the preselected works the three best by category: Images of the Self, Words of the Self, Scenes of the Self, Objects of the Self and Other forms of the Self.

– With a work or paper on the Self: portrait, self-portrait, biography, autobiography, personal memory or life story in one of the four categories whose examples are given below.

– With the promotion of this call among your contacts from your personal, work and research networks of, as one of the peers joining us or through the organization or institution that you represent and that we will be involving through the logo and the media we have access to.

“Images Of the Self” Category: it can be any of these: selfie, photography, painting, drawing, caricature, plasticine, video, cinema. “Words of the Self” Category: poetry, chronicle, newspaper, memory, song, testimony, interview. “Scenes of the Self” Category: monologue, performance, choreography. “Objects Of the Self” Category: photo album, exlibris, t-shirt. “Other forms of the Self” Category: blog, body map, tattoo …

The organization will certify your participation, publish the preselected works digitally and on our media: website, YouTube channel and other social networks giving participants the due credits, as well as in media at the local, national and international levels.

We hope to be able to count on your valuable contribution and are already looking forward to your kind response.

If you decide to help us forward this call, please attach this information for those who wish to participate:

Prior to registration we must know something about the work or paper that will be evaluated by the selection committee and then by the jury of the event, for which we request the sending of a photograph or video (1 minute is enough) if you will participate in Images Of The Self, Scenes of the Self, Objects of the Self or Other Forms of the Self, or an audio (1 minute is enough), if you will participate in Words of the Self.

You must send the image, video or audio to before July 31, 2020. We will reply as soon as possible with the instructions and conditions for participation in case you are pre-selected.

Thank you very much for your help and have a good day,

Best regards,

Diego Leandro Marín Ossa
Docente Titular e Investigador Asociado

Área de medios y educación

Escuela de español y comunicación audiovisual
Facultad de Ciencias de la Educación
Director del grupo y semillero de investigación
Ext: 7234 / Edificio Nº 7A (primer piso)

El contenido de este mensaje y sus anexos son únicamente para el uso del destinatario y pueden contener información  clasificada o reservada. Si usted no es el destinatario intencional, absténgase de cualquier uso, difusión, distribución o copia de esta comunicación.

Deadline for Submissions August 1, 2020

“Living with loss: bereavement, grief, loneliness, and resilience”–call for papers for the special issue for the British Journal of Guidance & Counselling (8/1/2020)

The contemporary poet David Whyte invites his audiences to wonder with him why humans are almost solely focused on achievement and success and are frequently shocked by any ending to a relationship, job, or loved-one’s life. He proposes we would do well to “apprentice ourselves to loss” as much as we do to gain. This begs questions like: what do we already know about well-being and resilience, what essential questions do we need to ask to facilitate our learning in this area, and what new research is being done or should be done to improve guidance and counselling practice in this context?
This special issue invites perspectives on the range of reactions people have when faced with loss and change, and the potential for more healthful responses. It is also aimed at articulating ways in which we might serve those we support when they confront specific human challenges related to bereavement, grief, and loneliness.
Bereavement refers to the loss of a loved one and the sadness, struggle, and adjustment this profound change requires. In counselling and guidance theory and practice, we maintain that humans are innately relational: when someone we love dies (or we are faced with the bereavement of those we serve), we are reminded that our attachments provide security, safety, consistency, and even shape our identity. With the secularisation of society, many rituals for coping well with bereavement and providing comfort have disappeared and the onus is frequently on the individual to make meaning. This may be done through psychological, creative or spiritual approaches, and social support remains an essential element of being well when faced with the death of those closest to us. The Covid-19 epidemic poses additional issues for the bereaved; not only because of the complications of burials and the impossibility of visiting those who are seriously ill, but also the disturbance of cultural rituals that appease the living and ‘do right by the dead’ as part of meaning-oriented practices. We are interested in learning more about innovations, theories, new research, and perspectives on bereavement within the context of guidance and counselling.
“Grieving represents a form of psychosocial and perhaps spiritual transition from the initial onset of a life-altering loss through a period of frequently tumultuous adjustment to a point of relative stability beyond the period of acute bereavement” (Neimeyer & Cacciatore, 2016, p. 3).
We will all face grief, we will see our clients and students face grief, and we will see loss in all areas of human life, not just as it relates to the death of loved ones. We will likely all be confronted with one or more of the following losses: job loss, loss of relationships or connection, even loss of our freedom (e.g. through illness; the current pandemic; lack of autonomy at work). Facing grief demands of us that we adapt, make meaning, and respond to the changes that challenge our sense of safety and identity.
Loneliness is said to have the same “impact on mortality as smoking 15 cigarettes a day, making it even more dangerous than obesity,” writes researcher Douglas Nemecek (Tate, 2018). He and his colleagues found in their 2018 national survey in USA, that loneliness is correlated with social anxiety and self-reported overuse of social media. Findings in their study indicate that in order to reduce loneliness, guidance and counselling professionals should focus on, “improving social support, decreasing social anxiety, and promoting healthy daily behaviors” among their clients (Bruce, Lustig, Russell, & Nemecek, 2018). This is, of course, complicated by consistent findings that “lonelier people are more likely to have poor social skills, have difficulty in forming relationships, and hold negative or hostile opinions of other people” (Bevinn, 2011). In the current pandemic, which involves self-isolating and social distancing, there are additional causes of loneliness. We are interested in finding out more about loneliness in the context of bereavement and the range of other non-death losses, including Covid-19 related losses.
In the context of bereavement, a surprising 68% of people show resilience; however, a minority does suffer from prolonged and complicated grief (Bonanno, 2009). Resilience is generally perceived as the ability to respond quickly and adaptively to difficult change. Most scholars agree that it is a combination of aptitude, attitude, and social connection. We are resilient to the degree to which we can ask for and receive the support of others, are able to honour our emotions and let them do their adaptive work, and have (or can develop) the ability to reorder our lives. We may even learn and transform through painful change through a phenomenon called benefit finding (Hall, 2014). Researchers have come to understand that our response to change in life is dependent on biological, personal, dyadic, and cultural forces (for a full overview see Neimeyer, Klass & Dennis, 2014).
For this special issue of the British Journal of Guidance and Counselling, we are looking for scholarly articles on the following topics:

  • Innovative perspectives and theories on bereavement, grief, loneliness, and resilience
  • Loneliness research, policy and practice
  • Theoretical and practical perspectives on resilience
  • Interdisciplinary research in relation to the theme(s) of this special issue
  • Psychology of bereavement/grief, loneliness and/or resilience
  • Cultural factors in bereavement/grief, loneliness and/or resilience
  • Loss, trauma, and counselling and beneficial approaches
  • Community factors in resilience
  • Creative methods in response to grief and loneliness (e.g. narrative therapies, life writing and creative writing, counselling, poetry therapy, embodied methods for learning through difficulty)
  • Bereavement, grief, loneliness, and resilience in the time of COVID-19

Submission Instructions

  • Proposals of no more than 500 words and list of authors, including contact details for the corresponding author can be submitted to the Special Issue Editor(s) Dr. Robert Neimeyer, Portland Institute for Loss and Transition and Dr. Katrin Den Elzen, Curtin University, Perth, Australia for feedback by August 1, 2020.
  • Full papers can (also) be submitted into the system without a proposal.
  • When submitting, please choose “Living with Loss” from drop-down tab when asked if you are submitting for a special or symposium issue
  • Please see general BJGC guidelines on word counts and referencing styles before submitting


Deadline for Submissions August 1, 2020

Call for papers

7th international symposium of the Finnish Oral History Network FOHN 

Power, Authority, and Voice: Critical Reflections in/on Oral History

26–27 November 2020
Helsinki, Finland

The notions of power, authority, and voice have been at the center of oral history research and practice from its inception. Oral history research is emblematically distinguished by its preoccupation with the voices from ‘the below’, having dedicated itself to the recording, collection, and analysis of memories, personal narratives, and histories of individuals and groups that would not have been heard otherwise. The concept of voice has implicitly referred to the nature of oral histories as recorded interviews, but more importantly, to issues of subjectivity, representation, and authority. In addition to recorded interviews, there has been increasing interest in various forms of life writings, as well as other forms of vernacular mnemonic practices online and offline. Even though the dialogic nature of data and knowledge production has been emphasized, analyzed, and celebrated, we still need to ask who holds the power to decide which pasts and perspectives are recognized, and whose voices – and what kind of voices – are listened to and analyzed, how and why? Moreover, we need to critically reflect on the structures of power and authority that practices and methods of oral history research foster. 


The seventh international symposium of the Finnish Oral History Network FOHN will focus on the notions of power, authority, and voice in the context of oral history from critical contemporary perspective. The keynote speakers are Urvashi Butalia (Delhi, India), Erin Jessee (University of Glasgow, Scotland, UK), Jonna Katto (Ghent University, Belgium), and Riikka Taavetti (University of Helsinki, Finland).


We wish to invite contributions focusing on methodological and ethical questions as well as on case studies. Proposals may be submitted for individual papers or panels and they can address but are not limited to the following themes and issues:

  • Critical reflections on voices and silences
  • Authorities of knowledge production in oral history
  • Culturally dependent aesthetics of oral history and life writing
  • Ideologies and politics of oral history and life writing
  • Issues related to the nature of oral history as a social movement, form of activism, and academic practice
  • Materiality and medium of the ‘voice’ (i.e. sound, writing, image)
  • Dominance of the ‘tragic’, ‘traumatic’, and ‘devastating’ experiences
  • Oral history and other disciplines
  • Critical reflections on the geographies of oral history

Submissions of individual papers require a title and a maximum of 250-word abstract. Panel proposals should include a maximum of 250-word description of the panel and max 250-word abstracts of each individual papers. The conference language will be English. 

Please e-mail your proposal to The deadline for the proposals has been extended to 1 August 2020. The acceptance or rejection of proposals will be announced by 15 August 2020 and the registration will be opened in September 2020. The conference fee will be 70 euros (standard) / 35 euros (concession: students, unwaged).

The Finnish Oral History Network FOHN is still very much hoping that the symposium will be organised as originally planned, but participants will be kept posted on any possible changes.


Ulla Savolainen

Chair, FOHN

UNIVERSITY OF HELSINKI                                           


Further information on the symposium:

FOHN’s webpage:

Facebook: Finnish Oral History Network

Ulla Savolainen, PhD, title of docent

Academy of Finland postdoctoral researcher

Department of Cultures

Topelia, Room C214, P.O. Box 59,

00014 University of Helsinki, Finland



Date for Submissions August 14, 2020

Women in Higher Education: A Compilation of Feminist Historiographies – CALL FOR BOOK CHAPTERS – Book proposal (8/14/2020)

We are pleased to invite chapters for an upcoming book proposal entitled, Women in Higher Education: A Compilation of Feminist Historiographies. The focus of the book will be on women who have significantly influenced higher education in the United States during the mid-19th to mid-20th centuries.

Nineteenth century women academics faced numerous tensions in their pursuit of higher education. Their persistence was scoffed at by contemporaries. Women of this time period influenced gender equity, however their contributions to the field of higher education have remained largely unrecognized. Their journeys and leadership strategies may be relevant to women seeking and securing educational roles.

The absence of women leaders in higher education has been noted by various scholars. An analysis of their leadership skills is needed within the current academic landscape. As female graduate students continue to enter into the field of higher education in increasing numbers, there is an urgency to revisit the experiences and contributions of female academics to avoid continuation of the grand narrative. Their lived experiences and educational contributions provide foundations and principles which can influence future women leaders in higher education. By bringing these women to the forefront, there is a possibility of diversifying and advancing the field of leadership in higher education.

Examining women’s contributions to the field of higher education is ethical and responsible and works toward affirming how past female leaders and the strategies they employed can inform current practices of leaders in higher education.

We recognize that there remain countless untold stories of their work that have remained unnoticed or disregarded. We welcome feminist historiographies highlighting

women from a wide range of national, ethnic, and cultural backgrounds to share the legacies of these female educational pioneers. If accepted, the final book chapters must document the subject’s relevant biography, her contribution to higher education and demonstrate an in-depth intersectionality of narratives between author and historical female figure.

This work is being advanced by doctoral students in a class on Women in Higher Education at the University of Hartford. We particularly invite graduate students to participate in this project. We have written feminist historiographies on five women who had a positive impact on the field of higher education prior to the 1950s. The five women are: Annie Howes Barus, Harriette J. Cooke, Alice Hamilton, Frances Willard and Sara Josephine Baker.


Submission Details:

Please send a two-page PDF summary of your proposed book chapter of a feminist historiography that includes the details outlined above. Please also denote a chapter title and include the affiliation(s) and degree(s) of the author(s).

After notification of acceptance of summaries, final book chapter submissions should be approximately 10 pages (double-spaced). Final book chapters must adhere to the guidelines within the 7th edition of the APA Publication Manual.


The timeline is as follows:

Submission deadline for summaries: August 14, 2020

Notification of acceptance of summaries: September 30, 2020

Submission deadline for full book chapters: January 8, 2020

Final submission of revised book chapters: March 1, 2021

Proposed Publication Date: Fall 2022

Proposals and submissions should be emailed to the Main Editor: Karen Case at


Contact Info:

Karen Case, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Administration and Supervision

University of Hartford, Department of Education

200 Bloomfield Avenue, Auerbach 223C

West Hartford, CT 06117

Phone: (860) 508-4397



Contact Email:

Contact Info:

Karen Case, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Administration and Supervision

University of Hartford, Department of Education

200 Bloomfield Avenue, Auerbach 223C

West Hartford, CT 06117

Phone: (860) 508-4397

Contact Email:


Deadline for Submissions August 15, 2020

CFP for Special Issue about African American Biofiction

for the journal African American Review

                Biofiction is literature that names its protagonist after an actual historical figure, and it has become a dominant aesthetic form since the late 1980s, resulting in stellar works from global luminaries as varied like Gabriel García Márquez, J.M. Coetzee, Margaret Atwood, Michael Cunningham, Joyce Carol Oates, Mario Vargas Llosa, Peter Carey, Olga Tokarczuk, and Hilary Mantel, just to mention a notable few. Studies about biofiction have surged over the last ten years, but what scholars have not yet noted is the African American contribution to the evolution, rise, and legitimization of biofiction.

There were some important biofictions published in the nineteenth century, such as Herman Melville’s Israel Potter: His Fifty Years of Exile (1855), Gustave Flaubert’s The Temptation of St. Anthony (1874) and “Herodias” (1877), Friedrich Nietzsche’s Thus Spoke Zarathustra (1883-85), and Oscar Wilde’s “The Portrait of Mr. W.H.” (1889). But the first real boom occurred in the 1930s, with influential publications from authors like Thomas Mann, Heinrich Mann, Irving Stone, and Robert Graves. Worth noting is that Arna Bontemps (Black Thunder) and Zora Neale Hurston (Moses, Man of the Mountain) published two of the more impressive biofictions from the decade.

But it would be two novels about African Americans in the second half of the twentieth century that would contribute significantly to the most important boom in biofiction, which is still underway. In 1967, William Styron published the hugely controversial novel The Confessions of Nat Turner, which won the Pulitzer Prize in Fiction, while in 1979, Barbara Chase-Riboud published Sally Hemings, a work that sold more than a million copies and led, in part, Eugene A. Foster to carry out DNA testing, which confirmed that Hemings’s descendants are related to Jefferson.

African Americans, either as authors or protagonists, are of crucial importance in some of the most impactful biofictions, including Chase-Riboud’s The President’s Daughter (Jefferson’s daughter Harriet Hemings) and Hottentot Venus (Sarah Baartman), Charles Johnson’s Dreamer (Martin Luther King, Jr.), Louis Edwards’s Oscar Wilde Discovers America, Caryl Phillips’s Dancing in the Dark (Bert Williams), Chika Unigwe’s De Zwarte Messias (Olaudah Equiano), and Colum McCann’s TransAtlantic (Frederick Douglass), just to name a few. It is for this reason that the African American Review is soliciting essays for a special issue about African American biofiction, by which is meant either biofiction by or about African Americans.


We welcome essays about the history of the aesthetic form in relation to African American literature and culture, African American innovations within the form, the role of African Americans within biofiction, studies about individual texts, and the recovery of lost historical figures through biofiction. More speculative essays are also welcome. For instance, we know that Toni Morrison encouraged Chase-Riboud to write Sally Hemings. Given the huge success of that 1979 novel, why did Morrison change the name of her protagonist in Beloved? How would Beloved signify differently had Morrison written it as a biographical novel? How would Sally Hemings function and signify differently had Chase-Riboud changed the protagonist’s name? Such contrastive and comparative studies could illuminate individual novels as well as African American biofiction more generally.

Essays will be due on August 15th, 2021.

For information about this special issue, contact Michael Lackey (

Michael Lackey

Distinguished McKnight University Professor

University of Minnesota, Morris

104 Humanities Building

600 East 4th Street

Morris, MN 56267-2132

Deadline for Proposals, November 29, 2020

From Combat to Commemoration. Veteran Politics and Memory: A Global Perspective (11/29/2020; 4/16-17/2021) United Kingdom

Department of History, University of Warwick
16th and 17th April 2021

From the fields of Gettysburg to the beaches of Normandy, the participation and presence of former soldiers has been an integral part of the memorial culture of many conflicts. As survivors of war, veterans are often portrayed a group imbued with a unique knowledge whose experiences should not be forgotten. Yet while public commemorations have sought to establish consensus about the meaning of the past, veterans’ memories have also been a source of conflict and contestation, engaged in struggles over rights, recognition, and the authority to remember the past and speak for the future.

In a recent article in War & History, Grace Huxford et al. note that the historically unprecedented number of veterans across the world during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries has ensured not just that veterans ‘occupy a significant place in modern history but that they are also a vital lens through which to analyse the changing relationship between war and society’. Veterans, however, are from being a modern phenomenon –estimates suggest that a larger proportion of the English population fought in the Civil Wars of the mid-seventeenth century than in World War One. Moreover, though veteran studies has become a rich field of interdisciplinary enquiry, studies tend to be embedded in their own geographic and historical contexts: the transtemporal and transnational study of veterans remains in its infancy.

This conference seeks to bring together scholars from across time and space to explore the experience of veterans, and particularly the politics of veteran memory and commemoration, from a global, comparative perspective. We hope to publish the resulting papers in an edited collection that will approach veteran memory from a range of different disciplinary, temporal, and geographic perspectives.

Proposals are invited for 20-minute papers that discuss any aspect of veteran politics and memory, from the ancient world to the present. Complete panel proposals are also very welcome (panels/papers which seek to explore different conflicts/countries/periods are especially encouraged). Possible themes include, but are by no means limited to:

  • Commemoration and memory
  • Veteran social movements and associations
  • Veteran cultural contributions (documentary evidence, art, etc.)
  • Political power of veterans
  • Veteran trauma, health and emotions
  • Veteran protest and dissent
  • (Inter)national veteran networks
  • Family and intergenerational memory
  • Monuments, statues, and re-enactments
  • Travel and battlefield tourism
  • Museums and heritage

Please submit paper abstracts (max. 300 words) and brief bio(s) to both and by 29th November 2020. Participants will be notified of decisions by the end of December 2020.